How to Attract More Local Customers Using Long-Tail Keywords

By Raubi Perilli

      Oct 1, 2021     Solutions    

Customers are always looking for new businesses to discover, enjoy, and help solve problems. Sometimes, they know what business to turn to. Other times, they search to find clues or paths toward a business that is just what they are looking for.  

When customers aren’t sure what they want, they often use more detailed, long-tail keywords to search.  

Long-tail keyword searches create a great opportunity for businesses to reach new customers. If you aren’t using this strategy, consider how your business can use long-tail keywords to put your brand in front of nearby customers.

What Are Long-Tail Keywords?

Keywords are terms and phrases that people use when they search online. Businesses can optimize their website for keywords so their website is more likely to show up on search engine results pages (SERP) when people search for those specific terms and phrases.

Long-tail keywords refer to search phrases that are three or more words. They are longer search phrases that are more specific.

The Benefits of Long-Tail Keywords

Most brands focus on short keyword phrases. For example, a fast-casual diner might target the keyword “burger restaurant.” But, only targeting short keyword phrases isn’t a great strategy.

There are benefits of using long-tail keywords.  

Long-tail keywords usually have less search competition. Short keywords appear to be useful because they have a high search volume (there are a lot of searches for that exact phrase per month). But, they come with the downside of having a lot of competition (there are a lot of websites trying to rank for the same term). Long-tail keywords may have less search competition and be easier to rank for.

Long-tail keywords often have specific buyer intent. Short keywords phrases are usually vague. “Burger restaurant” could produce a list of dozens of restaurants. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are much more specific. With a long search phrase, a customer can be more detailed about what they are looking for. For example, they may want to find a “burger restaurant with delivery” or “restaurants with wagyu burgers.” Both of these search phrases are more specific and are conducted by customers who are closer to knowing what they want and taking the steps toward a business that can offer it.  

If you can successfully use long-tail keywords on your website, you can attract more targeted search traffic. You can reach more people who are looking for something that your business can uniquely offer them.

Examples of How Local Businesses Can Use Long-Tail Keywords

To help you understand what long-tail keywords are, consider these examples.  

Long-tail keywords may refer to the type of experience a customer is looking for. Customers don’t always know what business they want to visit. Sometimes, they start their search by looking for an experience they want to have. They may search for:

  • Best date night in [city name]
  • Best happy hour specials in [city name]
  • Breweries with IPAs

Long-tail keywords may include the questions your customers ask when looking for a business like you. Think about the questions that someone might be asking before looking for a business like you. They may search for:

  • When is the best time to visit [city name]?
  • Where can I watch a sunset outside in [city name]?
  • Where can I watch NFL Sunday ticket?

Long-tail keywords may include your region or location as part of a search. As you can see in some of the previous examples, many long-tail searches use a city name in the search query. Consider how you can use identifiers for your area. This may include using the city as well as other terms related to your area such as:  

  • Search query + [neighborhood]
  • Search query + [business district]
  • Search query + [city]
  • Search query + [state]

How to Use Long-Tail Keywords to Attract Local Customers

Now that you know what long-tail keywords are and why they are important, let’s look at how you can use them on your site to attract more local customers.  

#1) Think about what your unique customer base needs and create a list of ideas. Use the examples above to get your juices flowing. Also, think about:  

  • The questions your customers ask
  • The unique things customers visit your business for
  • How customers describe your business
  • What experiences customers have at your business
  • What makes you the best or different from competitors

A Backlinko report found that: “How” keywords are the most common type of question keyword. Followed by “what,” “where,” and “who.”  

#2) Verify your ideas through keyword research. Keyword research is the process of looking up potential long-tail keywords and determining if they are worth targeting or not. Research is helpful because you may think customers are searching for a phrase and find out they aren’t. Or, you might not think about a phrase that customers are regularly searching for. So, use research to verify or debunk your long-tail keyword strategies.  

Using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or Semrush, research your long-tail keywords and ask yourself:  

  • Is there enough search traffic for this keyword? You want the popularity of the search to be high enough that it will drive traffic to your site.
  • Is there too much competition for this keyword? If there is very high competition for the keyword, it may be difficult to rank for it unless you already have a high SEO value for your site.

#3) Create a page on your website that targets the long-tail keyword. When you decide on a keyword you want to target, create content on your website to focus on that phrase. There are a few ways to do this, but one of the best ways is by creating a landing page or blog post that is optimized for the long-tail keyword.  

#4) Optimize the target landing page or blog post for on-site SEO. On-site SEO is the process of setting up a page so search engines recognize that the content on the page matches search intent. When search engines identify a page as having the most relevant content for a search, the page will appear higher on SERPs. For tips on how to optimize your page, check out our guide: On-Page SEO: How to Optimize Your Web Pages with SEO Keywords.

Need Help With Your SEO and On-Site Content Strategy?

Getting discovered in search is one of the best ways for local businesses to reach new customers. Consider how you can find new ways to put your business in front of customers through unique long-tail keyword searches and content.  

If you need help with your strategy, let us know. Our team of SEO and content experts love helping businesses attract more nearby customers using proven local marketing techniques. See how we can help. Contact us today.